Ghana Day: A day of culture sharing

Every year, our Grade 2 Team hosts an event called Ghana Day. Which is great for me, because even though it’s our third year living in Accra, there’s still more for me to learn about this country.

This year, we set up eight stations for the students to explore. For the second year in a row I got to run the best (and messiest) station – Adinkra Stamps. These symbols are used extensively in fabrics and pottery and were created by the Ashanti people. The symbol below stands for abundance.

Last year, Chandler and I went batiking in Accra and we got to decorate our own fabric using adinkra stamps.

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Another station was Outdoor Games and all the children were taught to play parachute. Basically, you tie two yards of fabric around your waste and hold the other two ends in your hands. Then, you run : )

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We had a Market station where students were shown the traditional food you can buy in a Ghanaian market – since most of their families probably shop at Maxmart or Shoprite. Students were also taught to say thank you in Twi: Medase Pa.

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A new station for us this year was Weaving. Students had already learned a brief history about Kente cloth and they got to “weave” their own patterns with paper.

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We reimagined Storytelling this year, incorporating music and “fire” to let the students imagine what it would have been like to tell stories late at night, looking up at the stars.

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No Ghana Day celebration would be complete without looking at what traditional Home Life looks like. Students get to sweep with sticks, carry water on their heads, cook their food, and look after babies.

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As any good teacher knows, the best thing you can do for your class is to utterly exhaust your students, so an all-time favorite station is Music & Drumming. They’re taught the basics of rhythm and shown how the placement of their hands affects the sound the drum makes.

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In desperate need of a rest, students then get to learn about the origins of Bead Making. Ghanaian beads are made of recycled glass bottles. The bracelet they make is a wonderful reminder of our long day of learning!

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It’s days like these that make me grateful to be an international teacher. Especially in such a diverse setting. This upcoming week, my students will be presenting on their home cultures and I can’t wait to learn more about the 13 countries they come from.

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Photo credits: Franny Bakker & Stanley Adjei Adjowerh-Nortey

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